Friday February 7, 2020

Dancing with the Stars: How 10 injected youth into a TV classic

By Trent Thomas

Dancing with the Stars returns for its second star-studded season live on 10 Sunday, February 9 at 7.30pm where it will be returning to Melbourne which was its previous home when filmed for Channel Seven.

The show sees 10 celebrities paired with professional dancers to compete in a dance competition full of glitz and glamour, to win $50,000 for their chosen charity.

The stars of this season are Claudia KarvanEd KavaleeCelia PacquolaChloe LattanziDean WellsTravis ClokeDami ImAngie KentBeau Ryan and Christian Wilkins.

Network Executive producer Cathie Scott spoke to Mediaweek about the fresh take on a classic format and what 10 has brought to the series.

“There’s always a slightly different approach when making shows for 10.  The audience base is young at heart, and our programming reflects that. Or, at least, that’s always the plan. Take traditional current affairs, for example, and now consider The Project. Take traditional lifestyle, then consider The Living Room. We’ve applied those same principles with Masterchef, Survivor and The Amazing Race. And just as those shows have found their own audience and are now part and parcel of our schedule, we’ve very optimistic the same will continue with DWTS. “

Scott says that one of the kets to the shows new must watch appeal is the work of the creative teams at 10 and Warner Brothers Australia.

“Warner Brothers Australia Executive Producer Karen Greene leads an outstanding team of creatives whose expertise in live television production is second to none.  Dancing With the Stars Australia is “must watch” Live event television each week and has something for everyone.”

The series is hosted by Amanda Keller and Grant Denyer, and is judged by Craig Revel HorwoodSharna Burgess and Tristan MacManus.

“Apart from the brilliant energy, enthusiasm and live polish we get from Amanda and Grant, the contestants love the process. Put that together with three very engaged judges and you get a show most of us want to work on. It’s just a lot of fun. Hopefully that’s what the audience at home connect with too. 2020 is shaping up as our best season yet.

 “One of the great strengths of the show are our three great Australian judges who are constructive, inclusive and generous with their vast knowledge of dance.”

Scott claims that this year is one of the best casts in the history of the Australian format including, Claudia Karvan, Ed Kavalee and 10 favourite Angie Kent who has featured on Gogglebox Australia, I’m A Celebrity.. Get Me Out of Here!, and most recently as the titular Bachelorette Australia although Mediaweek was told that while she can dance, do not expect her to try out her vocal chords anytime soon on The Masked Singer Australia.

Scott also said that the cast is full of surprises and the audience shouldn’t be too quick to judge who they think are going to do well and who are going to be naturals.

“As always the real joy of the show are the contestants who surprise you. There are some people you would assume are great dancers but not as good as you think and there are others who just blow your mind.”

Dancing with the Stars premieres on 10 on Sunday, February 9 at 7.30 pm.

Over 15.6 million Australians read magazines in print or online

A total of 15,644,000 Australians aged 14+ (75.1%) read magazines in print or online either via the web or an app. That is down 0.6 per cent, or 92,000, from a year ago according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to December 2019.

Readership of print magazines was almost 13.1 million Australians aged 14+ (62.8 per cent), down 3.8% from a year ago. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,422 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to December 2019.

Better Homes & Gardens and Women’s Weekly are again most widely read paid magazines.

Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with print readership up 8.4 per cent to 1,698,000 ahead of the Women’s Weekly with a print readership of 1,398,000.

In addition, National Geographic has retained an impressive print readership of 1,250,000 while Australian Geographic was up 3.9 per cent to 644,000. The newly launched New Idea Royals has debuted as Australia’s seventh most widely read paid magazine with a sizeable print readership of 603,000.

Super Food Ideas had the largest readership increase of the top magazines, up 34.8 per cent to 589,000.

How RadioMATRIX helped secure ad revenue…and save paper

Commercial radio revenue might have dropped in metro markets 6% year-on-year to $760m in 2019, but Commercial Radio Australia reveals the figures for the first year of a buying platform that is stopping the revenue dropping further.

The industry’s advanced ad buying platform RadioMATRIX has processed more than 1 billion items of radio inventory since launch in October 2017.

RadioMATRIX allows buyers to easily connect with every commercial radio station on one powerful platform and is now being used by 190 media agencies to manage radio campaigns running across 360 stations.

The platform updates and synchronises thousands of radio bookings daily, enabling buyers to receive online booking confirmations, monitor changes and see where and how frequently their ads have run.

“RadioMATRIX has surpassed the 1 billion milestone ahead of target and transformed what has been a largely paper-based and labour-intensive process into a model of transparency and efficiency,” CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said.

“Alongside the productivity benefits, the move from paper to digital confirmations has resulted in the saving of 2.9 million reams of paper, or the equivalent of more than 174,000 trees.”

Warner said the development of RadioMATRIX was a top priority for the industry in 2020, with work to begin on a purpose-built digital workspace, where agencies can create a brief, receive proposals from broadcasters and collaborate on the campaign.

The cloud-based solution will be powered by GfK radio surveys data so agencies can check spots against audience segments, while radio networks will have real-time insight on availability of ad spots.

Magna Australia managing director Victor Corones, who chairs the MFA’s Systems Taskforce and is a member of CRA’s Programmatic Committee, said RadioMATRIX would transform the relationship between buyers and broadcasters.

“2020 will be big year for audio. RadioMATRIX will be front and centre of that because it makes it easier for buyers to navigate the opportunities, take a more strategic approach and ultimately optimise their spend and results.”

MAFS recap & ratings: Honeymoons leave two couples in separate rooms

In episode four of Nine‘s Married at First Sight, the first six couples were sent away on their honeymoons as a part of the next step of the TV social experiment.  

Cathy and Josh holidayed in Victoria where they shared long kisses in their spa and then again in their bathtub. Josh admitted he is very attracted to her, and it’s obvious in the footage as he couldn’t get his hands off his new wife. Cathy revealed she gets butterflies every time they smooch – so we’re guessing she gets butterflies a lot!

Natasha and Mikey headed off to Thredbo. On their trip away, Natasha told Mikey what her average busy weeks are: botox, fillers, nails, hair, waxing, laser, facials, massages, fat freezing, teeth bleaching, and injecting melanotan before bed. High maintenance? Mikey seemed to think so. 

Awkward feelings of mismatching soon blew over, as alpha-female Natasha was delightfully surprised with how great Mikey was on the slopes and thought he looked confident, which definitely resonated with her.

Over in the Whitsundays, Tash and Amanda didn’t share a spark as Tash felt their honeymoon wasn’t romantic in the slightest. After Amanda waits an hour or so by the water for Tash, things turn sour.

They had a brutal argument where Amanda asked Tash if she’s even attracted to her at all, where Tash responded: “I don’t feel overwhelming chemistry”. Amanda tears up and walks away, saying she would like a separate hotel room. “You have no fight in you”, Amanda said to Tash.

In Hervey Bay, Vanessa was still worrying that Chris may not be attracted to her because ‘they haven’t kissed or cuddled’. He revealed to Vanessa that he is in fact attracted to her and this was music to her ears.

Poppy and Luke honeymooned in the Hunter Valley where the new bride was still emotional about being apart from her kids and cried when on the phone to her mum.

As a couple though, Poppy and Luke seemed to get along well when they shared a romantic hot air balloon ride. “We’re a strong match,” said Poppy. “The honeymoon ended on the best possible note.”

Sixth couple, Hayely and David, holidayed in Singapore. It started off well when Hayley revealed she was a drug addict for close to a decade, with David responding ‘the past is the past’. 

Things did turn sour when the Honesty Box comes out and David recalled the time when Hayley said to him “darl, your $25 an hour pay wage ain’t gonna cut it for me”. She denies the comment, and asked him if he can see himself falling in love with her, where he replied: “I’m really struggling to”. 

It got worse when he said a dealbreaker for him was smoking, and that she’d been smoking on the trip a number of times. He moved into a new hotel room and told producers “if I was handed a ticket to the airport, I would run to the airport until my feet bled”.

Honeymoons start on MAFS as show wraps its first week

• MAFS wins timeslot in all metro capitals
• MAFS ranks No. 1 metro program with all key demos
• MAFS takes out top three spots on VPM rankings
• No. 1 metro program with all People 25-54, 16-39 and GS + Child.
• No. 1 program with Total People in Sydney and Melbourne.
• Timeslot winner in all metro capitals.
• National peak audience: 1.654 million (Metro: 1.190 million / Regional: 498,000).
• National average audience: 1.345 million (Metro: 992,000 / Regional: 353,000).
• Up in metro audience on 2019 episode four:
• By 3.6% with People 25-54 (516,000 v 507,000)
• By 2.0% with People 16-39 (284,000 v 278,000)

National audiences:

• Episode 1: 1,492,000 (Metro 1,154,000 Regional 338,000)
• Episode 2: 1,412,000 (Metro 1,067,000 Regional 345,000)
• Episode 3: 1,355,000 (Metro 1,014,000 Regional 341,000)
• Episode 4: 1,345,000 (Metro 992,000 Regional 353,000)

VPM ratings for streaming and on-demand:

#1 Married At First Sight Episode 1: 242,000
#2 Married At First Sight Episode 2: 206,000
#3 Married At First Sight Episode 3: 163,000

MAFS launch audiences (metro):

• 2015: 1,143,000
• 2016: 769,000 (First series that year)
• 2016: 769,000 (Second series that year)
• 2017: 826,000
• 2018: 914,000
• 2019: 1,006,000
• 2020: 1,154,000

Married At First Sight continues Sunday night at 7pm on Nine.

Five Bedrooms opens the door on filming of season 2

Aussie drama Five Bedrooms has commenced filming for its second season on 10, after a successful first season in 2019. 

Cast wise, Kat Stewart, Stephen Peacocke, Doris Younane, Katie Robertson, Roy Joseph and Hugh Sheridan are returning for season two.

Having lost their first communal home at auction, season two sees the surrogate family once again house-hunting, believing they have been tested and prevailed as a unit.

Actor Kat Stewart, who plays Liz, said: “Season one of Five Bedrooms was a creative and personal joy for me from beginning to end. I am so thrilled to be back on set with this superb ensemble and knock-out creative team led by the brilliant minds of writers Michael Lucas and Christine Bartlett.

“A huge thanks to Hoodlum and Network 10 for backing a show about disparate ordinary people choosing to support each other in flawed, real and wonderfully surprising ways. We can’t wait to bring audiences season two.”

Network 10’s Head of Drama, Rick Maier, said: “If only we all had a bunch of unlikely friends like this – keeping us honest, laughing, and coming back for more. 

“We are truly blessed to have this joyous cast, ingenious writers and incredible crew back together for another round of life-affirming, escapist fun. Five Bedrooms is a privilege to broadcast.”

Hoodlum Entertainment Executive Producer Nathan Mayfield, said: “So thrilled to bring this heart-warming cast of characters back to life for the next chapter of Five Bedrooms on 10.

“We are so pleased that audiences embraced these characters that we love so much and we can’t wait for audiences to laugh, cry and laugh again in season two. This enthusiasm is shared with our partners Film Victoria, Screen Australia and our international partners Sky Studios and NBCUniversal.”

Five Bedrooms commenced filming this week and is produced by Hoodlum Entertainment for Network 10. With major production investment from Screen Australia, it is developed and produced with the assistance of Film Victoria. International sales by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.  

Crocmedia to cover a record 31 AFLW games this season

Crocmedia, will broadcast a record 31 games this AFLW season live on SEN and syndicate its call of the NAB AFLW Grand Final on AFL Nation radio stations around the country.

SEN’s NAB AFLW radio coverage will include special comments from some of the game’s biggest names including former Collingwood and North Melbourne star Moana Hope who will make her radio debut along with current players – Kaitlyn Ashmore (North Melbourne), Libby Birch (Melbourne) and Ellie Blackburn (Western Bulldogs).

The resident commentary team will include AFL legends and experts including Terry WallaceDwayne RussellSam Hargreaves and AFLW expert Jo Wotton.

This season also sees the return of Crocmedia’s Women’s Footy – Australia’s only dedicated free-to-air television program for the NAB AFLW competition, hosted by former Australian Diamond’s champion Bianca Chatfield and Herald Sun sports journalist Lauren Wood.

Mercado on TV: Tacky Thomas, gay kisses and best new dramas

By Andrew Mercado

Where do you go in 2020 if you claim the tacky Thomas Markle: My Story is the “Interview of the Year” … in the final week of summer ratings? Maybe Nine is just punch drunk after the success of the Australian Open and MAFS, not to mention Karl Stefanovic slipping back into Today like he had never been away.

Seven are off to a shaky start, with revelations they have been filming two different versions of Home and Away. NZ and UK viewers get same-sex kisses in G rated timeslots, but someone at Seven thinks this is not appropriate for Aussies in a PG timeslot. Did they not see two lesbians kissing on MAFS, the number one show on TV?

MKR used to be the top-rating show but is now coming dead last in its timeslot. Guess that’s what happens when you change your format so much, it ceases to even resemble its own title (with “My Kitchen” becoming “Some Kitchen in a Fake Share Mansion”).

10 is happy, because Australian Survivor All-Stars has also smashed MKR. I’m a Celebrity did well too, despite that underwhelming cast. Are the bigger stars pushed towards Dancing With The Stars instead (Sunday on 10) because that line-up is awesome, notwithstanding the obligatory boofhead from MAFS.

The best new dramas around right now are The Outsider (Fox/Showcase) and Picard (Amazon Prime). Gold Digger (Tuesday on Seven) is pretty good too, despite Julia Ormond’s patchy accent, but it doesn’t come close to being as intriguing as The Stranger (Netflix), featuring Jennifer Saunders in her first dramatic role.

Netflix didn’t let up all summer long with original fare, but the hardest working broadcaster was the ABC, with News 24 and regional radios being a lifeline to communities during this heartbreaking bushfire crisis. Emotions were running raw for Q&A last Monday, but luckily Jim “I don’t rely on evidence” Molan was there for comic relief.

More fun can be found this with Eurovision: Australia Decides (Saturday on SBS), Monday’s Academy Awards (which is doing a Sonia Kruger, as in: began on Seven, jumped to Nine, now back to Seven). And finally, there is a new game show called Faboriginal (Thursday on NITV) and that has to be a front runner for best show title of the year. So far.

See also:
Andrew Mercado is back in a big way this week. In addition to his first column on the year, Mercado joins Mediaweek’s Trent Thomas and James Manning in two podcasts.

TV ratings Thursday Week 6 2020: Last week Summer survey

• Big Bash clash gives Seven a win in three metro markets
• Thursday ep of MAFS gives Nine a winning 5-city share
• 10 calls Ambulance Australia but no match for MAFS/BBL

The fourth night of Married At First Sight has kept Nine on the wedding march as viewers got to see some of the couples on honeymoon. The Thursday episode was just shy of 1m metro – just 8,000 short in what has been a remarkable launch week for the program.

Check our separate MAFS recap/ratings feature each day for updated numbers for the format this year.

Nine screened Pitch Perfect 2at 9pm with 284,000 watching.

Married At First Sight: Week 1

• Monday 1,154,000
• Tuesday 1,067,000
• Wednesday: 1,014,000
• Thursday: 992,000

Seven had its best share of the week and only its first share over 20% since January 4. Seven ranked #1 primary in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and it was #1 in combined channel share across the metro markets. The Big Bash League saw the Melbourne Stars make it through to another BBL Grand Final. Seven and fans will be hoping somehow the rains will stop for a few hours on the weekend for the match… The Challenger final saw metro audiences of 467,000 for the first session and then 529,000 for the second.

Seven has a massive day of cricket on Saturday with three matches back-to-back from 12 noon: Women’s T20 Australia v India, Bushfire Charity Match with teams led by Warnie and Ponting facing off and then the Big Bash League final in the evening.

10 has to wait a week until Gogglebox turns up in the schedule which should ensure it doesn’t have another Thursday share like this for at least 10 weeks.

Ambulance Australia had to do the heavy lifting last night against MAFS and the Big Bash League. The return of the ob doc did 424,000. That wasn’t terrible for a show that is not a major franchise, but it wasn’t competitive.

Law & Order: SVU followed on 236,000.

Earlier in the night The Project did 446,000 which made it 10’s #1 and it included a preview of Ambulance Australia and an interview with Julie Bishop.

Doctor Who was on 242,000 for ABC at 8pm.

A repeat of the Chester episode of Britain’s Most Historic Towns performed best for SBS with 221,000.

The Little Drummer Girl mini-series then had its FTA premiere with 152,000 watching for two hours after 8.30pm.

Week 5 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 8.8% 7 21.9% 9 23.5% 10  10.7% SBS One 5.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 1.8% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.1% GEM 3.0% 10 Peach 2.6% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 13.8%   31.0%   30.0%   16.9%   8.3%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 7.6% 7 22.4% 9 18.0% WIN 11.5% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 5.9% GO! 3.5% WIN Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 3.7% GEM 4.6% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.0% 9Life 1.8% Sky News  on WIN 2.0% NITV 0.0%
TOTAL 12.3%   34.0%   28.0%   19.4%   6.4%


84.9% 15.1%
  1. Seven News Seven 996,000
  2. Married At First Sight Nine 992,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 964,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 778,000
  5. Nine News Nine 771,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 728,000
  7. ABC News ABC 676,000
  8. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger Inn BRK Seven 637,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 595,000
  10. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger S2 Seven 552,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 537,000
  12. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger Post GameSeven 503,000
  13. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger S1 Seven 497,000
  14. 7.30 ABC 481,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 446,000
  16. Ambulance Australia 10 424,000
  17. Hot Seat Nine 412,000
  18. 10 News First 10 399,000
  19. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 327,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 288,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 284,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger Inn BRK Seven 134,000
  3. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger S2 Seven 129,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 109,000
  5. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger Post GameSeven 108,000


18 – 49

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 465,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger Inn BRK Seven 228,000
  3. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger S2 Seven 210,000
  4. Seven News Seven 196,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 192,000


25 – 54

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 516,000
  2. Seven News Seven 256,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 250,000
  4. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Challenger Inn BRK Seven 245,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 240,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  2. Peppa Pig PMABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  3. Dot. PMABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  4. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  5. Octonauts PMABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  6. Olobob Top PMABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  7. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 147,000
  8. Noddy Toyland Detective PMABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  9. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  10. Go Jetters PMABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  11. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  12. Hawaii Five O (R) 10 Bold 127,000
  13. Father Brown PM7TWO 124,000
  14. Neighbours 10 Peach 122,000
  15. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  16. Death In Paradise 9Gem 117,000
  17. Play School Nursery Rhyme News Time ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  18. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  19. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  20. Oblivion PM(R) 7mate 109,000
  1. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 316,000
  2. Live: BBL: Challenger Stars V Thunder FOX CRICKET 267,000
  3. Live: BBL: Challenger Stars V Thunder FOX CRICKET 246,000
  4. The Night Watchmen FOX CRICKET 141,000
  5. Live: B4 The Bash! FOX CRICKET 89,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 65,000
  7. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 52,000
  8. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 48,000
  9. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 46,000
  10. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 45,000
  11. The Simpsons FOX8 40,000
  12. Family Guy FOX8 35,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  14. Highway Patrol FOX8 30,000
  15. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 28,000
  16. PML Later Sky News Live 28,000
  17. Police Ten 7 FOX8 26,000
  18. Counting On TLC 25,000
  19. The Little Couple TLC 25,000
  20. Criminal Minds FOX Crime 25,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

QMS shareholders approve Quadrant Private Equity takeover

QMS shareholders have near-unanimously voted for Quadrant Private Equity’s $420 million takeover of the out-of-home advertising business, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The buyout marks a return to outdoor advertising for Quadrant, which bought and listed APN Outdoor before selling it in 2018 for $1.2 billion to French giant JCDecaux.

The QMS deal will see Quadrant pay $1.22 per share for QMS Media, valuing the company’s equity at $420.6 million and giving it a total enterprise value of $571.6 million.

The scheme between QMS and Quadrant sees equity held by QMS chief executive Barclay Nettlefold and QMS Media Australia chief executive John O’Neill being rolled over into scrip in a holding company as well as some cash consideration.

[Read more]

Ad giant JCDecaux flags police action for climate vandals

Major French advertiser JCDecaux warns it will take Australian climate activists to the police if they continue to vandalise their property with pro-environmentalist art, as moderate Liberal MPs say the artists’ actions are harming the push for more climate action, reports The Australian’s Richard Ferguson.

A loose collective of artists under the banner of #BushfireBrandalism – including a Sydney painter infamous for his murals targeting Tony Abbott– are breaking into the French company’s glass advertising displays using allen keys.

A JCDecaux spokeswoman said the company had been aware of the climate vandalism campaign for some time and it was considering taking the campaign to the police.

“JCDecaux haven’t contacted authorities at this point – but will be left with no choice if it persists,” she told The Australian.

[Read more]

Formal request for ACCC probe into Google delayed

The consumer watchdog is yet to get the formal request to conduct an investigation into Google’s control of the adtech market, two months after one was approved by the federal government, reports The Australian’s John Durie.

The delays come as The Wall Street Journal reports the US Department of Justice is ramping up its own antitrust probe of Google, which while complementary could easily overtake the work of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC was a groundbreaker on the issue of digital platforms after the government issued a request for an inquiry back in December 2017.

[Read more]


Amanda and Grant on their Logies feud with Tom Gleeson

Tom Gleeson controversially won the Gold Logie over sentimental favourite Amanda Keller with a campaign that mocked the awards, reports News Corp’s Siobhan Duck.

And that came after Gleeson claimed he swung the 2018 Gold to Grant Denyer by running a campaign for him.

Keller says: “I like Tom. I enjoy the fact that he is a disrupter. What I didn’t like was that he said Grant only won because of him and that the award means nothing. That was really unfair.

“I know how much that award meant to Grant. And, look, it meant something to me too. I was grateful just to be nominated.”

At the time of his win, a furious Denyer said that Gleeson’s negative campaign, could spell the end for the Logies. But he has softened his stance somewhat since then.

“Tom ran a great campaign,” he says.

“But he took a different approach. He sees it all as a big joke. But what he did was he brought a crowd in who would not normally care about the Logies. He made it accessible to a whole new demographic.”

[Read more]

Mandy Patinkin bids teary goodbye to Homeland

Of all the things actor Mandy Patinkin was asked to do in 96 episodes of the critically acclaimed drama Homeland, the toughest was simply walking away. The role has changed him forever, he says.

The role was a significant one in an already extraordinary career. Chicago-born Patinkin seems something of a triple threat: a gifted dramatic actor, a noted interpreter of Stephen Sondheim‘s musical works and, for a certain generation, the beloved swashbuckling hero Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.

Yet few works have so fundamentally altered his life as his role in Homeland, as Saul Berenson, the CIA’s Middle East Division Chief and mentor to the show’s heroine, CIA case officer Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes.

“[It is my life for] the six months we were shooting, and then even in the time off, because it’s about the world I’m living in and the world doesn’t stop because you turn your phone off and go recharge it,” Patinkin says. “It’s just in every pore of my body. And it introduced me to the work I do with the refugee crisis, which has meant the world to me.”

[Read more]

Disney+ to reach 126m subscribers by 2025, study forecasts

Disney+ will reach 126 million subscribers worldwide by 2025 to reach 53 percent of Netflix’s nearly 238 million then, Digital TV Research analyst Simon Murray forecast in a Thursday report, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Following Disney’s Tuesday earnings report that exceeded subscriber estimates for Disney+, whose original programming includes The Mandalorian, with 28.6 million as of early February, Digital TV Research upgraded its forecast, which originally had called for 101 million subscribers by 2025.

“Disney+ will be the biggest SVOD winner over the next five years,” and will rank only behind Netflix and Amazon, the firm predicted in a report, highlighting its estimate for 105 million additions by 2025. It expects the Disney+ user base to reach 40.7 million at the end of 2019.

Five global streaming platforms will have 553 million paying SVOD subscribers by 2025, adding 196 million between 2020 and 2025, Murray projects.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Why rugby's broadcast rights imbroglio will go into extra time

Rugby Australia officials remained confident on Thursday their unprecedented decision to test market interest in the code’s broadcast rights would not blow up in their faces, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Georgina Robinson.

The game was rocked by a report on Wednesday night that Fox Sports had decided to walk away from the sport after a 25-year relationship as its host broadcaster.

Then, as now, Foxtel bosses were incensed by RA boss Raelene Castle‘s decision to put the rights out to tender instead of accepting Fox Sports’ first offer.

But as of close of business on Thursday, the broadcaster had not conveyed any such message to RA.

On Thursday, Fox Sports chief executive Peter Campbell issued a statement reaffirming the broadcaster’s commitment to the sport for the final year of the current deal, but stated that the rights beyond the end of the year were “a matter for Rugby Australia”.

Fox Sports will almost certainly not bid early, may not bid at all, or may wait until the 11th hour and make a late play.

It is worth noting that Foxtel and Fox Sports can play hard ball on rights negotiations when the moment requires it.

On April 6, 2018, a News Corp publication reported that Cricket Australia’s rights hopes were “hit for six as Foxtel, Fox Sports bail”. One week later, Seven and Fox were announced as the game’s new partners in a record $1.2 billion deal.

[Read more]

Club rugby rights battle set to shape $1b TV deal

Rugby’s billion-dollar, four-nation broadcast deal is being held up by a battle over the future of the Sydney club competition, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Georgina Robinson.

Once the forlorn, forgotten gem in the crown of Australian rugby, the Shute Shield has emerged as the prized bargaining chip in the fraught negotiations over the sport’s next broadcast deal.

On one side is Rugby Australia, which wants to elevate the Sydney and Brisbane club competitions to greater prominence on the rugby calendar, and wants to sell a five-year, exclusive club-to-Wallabies package to the highest-bidding broadcaster.

On the other side is Fox Sports, RA’s long term broadcast partner, which, concerned RA could have its head turned by rival Optus, appears to be moving to secure what rugby content it can.

The outcome is a stalemate set against a backdrop of unprecedented tension over the rights negotiations for Super Rugby and the Wallabies from 2021.

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Revealed: the $200 million broadcast offer met with radio silence

Fox Sports executives are convinced Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle never intended to renew their broadcast partnership after pitching her a $200 million deal months ago, only to receive deafening silence, reports News Corp’s Jamie Pandaram.

The Fox offer is for $40 million-a-year over five years, the same as the current deal despite Super Rugby’s cutting back of teams resulting in 30 per cent less content.

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News Corp: Rugby union parts ways with Foxtel

This is a moment of truth for Rugby Australia and rugby in Australia, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

The decision to walk away from Foxtel’s offer to match its current deal to a sole alternative bidder in Optus could be as significant as the sport turning professional back in 1995.

Rugby’s current five-year broadcast deal signed in 2015 is worth around $57m a year to Rugby Australia, with Foxtel paying the vast bulk of this sum.

Under Rugby Australia’s deal with Foxtel the subscription broadcaster has the exclusive rights to Super Rugby, but is still forced under anti-siphoning laws to hand over the rights to all the important Wallabies Test matches to a free-to-air broadcaster in 10.

When SANZAR did a deal with News in 1995 it put rugby in the top tier of sports. Although it has slipped, a deal with Optus will likely to send it to the third division.

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Can Australian rugby survive a move away from Fox Sports to Optus?

Rugby Australia has embarked on a high-risk strategy by turning its back on its 25-year broadcast partnership with Fox Sports, comments The Australian’s Wally Mason.

And if it all blows up in Raelene Castle’s face, the biggest loser will be the already battered and bruised game.

Months of talks between Fox Sports and Rugby Australia came to a halt on Wednesday and it now looks as if the code will make a deal with Optus.

Fox has been actively involved in strengthening and developing all these codes – it’s in their interests. The stronger the sport, the more people who are involved and interested, the more eyeballs will be watching on TV.

The interests of Optus, on the other hand, lie not in contributing to the development of sport but in attracting subscribers to its phone services.

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Footy Classified revamp uncertain after departure of Matt Scriven

The much-anticipated revamp of Footy Classified has hit yet another hurdle, reports News Corp’s Scott Gullan.

It’s been a summer of uncertainty for the Channel 9 football program after it was decided at the end of last season that drastic changes were required.

The latest curve ball came last week when the man who was driving the expansion of the popular show suddenly quit.

Matt Scriven, the managing director of Nine Melbourne, has decided to step away after more than two years in the role, citing family reasons.

What we do know is that Scriven was planning to have Classified on Monday and Wednesday nights, most likely in a more prime time slot.

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Footy Classified: Hutchy says Eddie McGuire can host Mondays too if he wants

On the first Sounding Board podcast on 2020, Crocmedia CEO and Footy Classified host Craig Hutchison indicated there was no deal yet finalised at Nine for a second episode of the format each week this year during the AFL season.


However, under questioning from AFL’s Damian Barrett, Hutchy indicated he thought there would be a mid-week episode given the lack of denials from Nine and its potential host Eddie McGuire about the anticipated new program. Hutchy even told Barrett that if McGuire ultimately got the job of hosting on Mondays too that would be OK with him.

Crocmedia’s SEN Breakfast last week revealed Ross Lyon would be joining the Nine AFL family on the new show expected to screen on Wednesdays.

Also on The Sounding Board, Hutchy revealed that Lyon would in addition be under contract to the AFL and also possibly Triple M, both deals which Barrett possibly helped negotiate.

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